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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    December 4, 2012
    6:00 - 6:21am EST  

spend much money on energy. energy research is about $6 billion a year. i would like to see it doubled. this report is a blueprint for independence and i think it is the right blueprint. we are not in a position to be held hostage by anybody. it also focuses on find more and use less. what we can do in the federal government is i think invest in research and getting a 500-mile battery for electric cars and getting solar energy that is 1 kilowatt installed and finding a way to capture carbon from coal plants that can be turned into fuel that is commercially sold. we should look at the model of unconventional gas in terms of how our system and federal
research and our system of private properties have produced a situation where we have a massive advantage over europe and asia in terms of our natural gas. it creates a better economy and that reduces the debt. >> there is a headline predicting we will be producing more oil than saudi arabia beginning in 2020. this is something almost on imagined 10 years ago. -- unimagined 10 years ago. what is the role of the federal government? >> to do things that encouraged
the results. to follow up on the fiscal cliff. you can solve this fiscal problem if you grow our role to position relative to everybody else's. a big problem is the percentage of government spending is more than its should be related to total gdp. if there is an easier for millet in the history of economics that -- formula ever in the history of america -- economics that more american energy equals more american jobs, i don't know what it is. it is all the jobs you have if you of a reliable supply of energy. the front page of the "the wall street journal" indicates a difficulty of connecting this cheap product we have in natural gas. we thought we would run out natural-gas as a country.
connecting this cheap product with a more expensive market and getting it overseas. if we could become energy self- sufficient, that does not mean we would not buy on the world market, but if we could meet our needs in the north american markets, almost all of that money comes back to us. we have no better trading partner than canada. nafta has increased the trading capacity of mexico. it has gone somewhere from the 40% range and a growing and, -- 57 neighborhood to the high 40's to the mid-70s's now, and they are quickly catching up with canada. when you buy energy in north america, they give you the money back.
that was a lot to solve the problems. if you make your position better as a nation, suddenly, your numbers begin to where they need to be relative to the rest of the economy. >> you said this is one of the most important issues facing america. why do you think it is such an important issue? >> transportation and the availability, the means to get there, what we do with it, it is without a question in my mind, being a marine and an infantry officer, it is the most important problem facing the united states for several reasons. first, i do not believe that the american public truly understands the transportation in the availability of the resources to solve the problem. -- the transportation problem
and the availability of the resources to solve the problem. i think we need an education program by learned scholars, such as those in this audience to help us in getting this word out to america. i think it is essential because it is coming on very fast. there are things that are happening that we take for granted. as an example, we take for granted the fact that we can move thousands and thousands of marines, sailors, soldiers and have the equipment without any burden to carry economy, not true. the truth of the matter is is a tremendous burden to our economy to have a national- security policy that defends the country that we love so much. without having the ability and willingness to get out and give the american public forums such
as this in helping giving us answers to some of the very difficult questions that they ask, i want to take this opportunity to think robby for what he does. -- thanks robbie for what he does. i met him some years ago when he found my office in an office building. he came in and we had a chat and i said, my goodness, this fellow knows what he is talking about and he has never disappointed me whatsoever. what we need to do is explain to the american public things such as the fact that you cannot move thousands of troops and their equipment down all the other things that go along with it free of charge. it has a price tag that is
quite large, but it is in the best interests of the united states. to answer your question, i think we need a very cultured energy -- cogent energy policy that we, the people in this room like you and me, we can inform the american public that this is a problem and this is a way we propose to fix it. >> thank you. you are passionate about this subject, i can tell. let's talk more about the military. you talk about moving people and machinery. there are some of the other esteemed leaders of america's military here. what about american national interests in other parts of the world? and general conway, how does that change if we have an abundance of energy that we are able to harness in this country? >> it changes it. i would say my sense is that we are on a long drive. as opposed to grasping in the dark as we may have thought of 10 years ago, we are driving
into sunlight. as has been pointed out, we still depend on foreign sources for about 40% of our energy requirements. in my mind, that still creates a critical vulnerability, maybe even a central gravity. 2013 will be a very interesting year and it will be a long time before we are totally energy dependent. -- energy independent. to your question and, i think we need to be conscious of what decisions we can make as a nation. today, our economy as much more consideration on the part of great military minds than ever before. as we look to give it to the -- pivot to the pacific for good and just reasons, we do so with full knowledge that we get our primary raw resource from the middle east, from africa, from the americas, and to a lesser degree, from europe.
we need to be conscious of what the requirement is as we make military decisions. this vulnerability you we will phase, i believe we will for some time. we also have an economic competitor and a partner in china. they have a voracious appetite for natural resources and we're looking at new ways to get these in our own backyard, and maybe i will ask you this question, admiral. admiral, maybe i will ask you this question. how important is the china factor in america energy program's going forward? >> i will talk to doubt, but i would like to mention a few puffs things about this report that may not have come out in your opening remarks. we definitely advocating opening of drilling in the united states where we cannot, but there is a -- wherever we can, but there is a very strong part of this report that says it has to be done safely and we
know how to do it safely. that is one contribution of those of us who have served in the armed forces, we do a lot of dangerous stuff in the armed forces, fuel, nuclear power, explosives. the way we do that safely is a high standards, rigid enforcement, and very professional inspectors to do it. we strongly recommend applying this model to regulatory body so that we can do this safely, so that we can do oil retractions safely. that we can do safely. the general and i live in pennsylvania and we want our water to be drinkable, our streams usable, but we believe firmly that can be done if you enforce these standards. the second thing is that we do advocate a federal role and a non-pre-market to try to open up possibilities to this
country for more different kinds of energy, but we are definitely concentrating on creating the conditions part of this. we are not talking about creating winners and losers in developed industries. we're talking about opening up to alternatives to today's petroleum based internal combustion engines so that we reduce our national security dependence on the oil that is coming from, in many cases, unstable countries and also regimes that do not wish us well, and quite the opposite. china and india are causing the trend that will drive the cost of petroleum up, so no matter what we do, the balance of payments is worse, so from the economic point of view, it is china's role as they seek to achieve wealth and prosperity, which they want and which we
want them to have that causes us to look elsewhere for these alternatives so that we are not hurt by their success but we have alternatives for ourselves. >> can i have you weigh in on the importance for how these new trends in energy production may change where we are acting in what we're doing in the rest of the world? >> there is a lot of talk about if this will change our focus in the middle east, but countries that are self- sufficient still pay the same market price than the world market, so that will not change.
we will still have interest in the middle east and some and this is their -- we will still have some emphasis there but it gives us more leverage, better options. it improves our flexibility, of this rebalancing of our national security policies in the pacific, an area where we need to pay closer attention that i hope can be done in a constructive way of as we develop our relationship with china. i think it gives us more flexibility, leverage, options and it hopes with resilience. overall, the foundation of military power, no matter how great and good we are, the bedrock, the thing we build our national security leverage on is a well functioning economy. we need to show the world we can get our economy under control, reduce the deficit, and begin to show leadership in various areas of new technology
that demonstrated here to the rest of the world. kohl will always be there. -- coal is always going to be there. there's lots of work there. all the sales will help, i think, of leverage our capability and give us more options. >> let me bring you in. 92% of american transportation is run on petroleum. with this new landscape for energy production of, how are we doing on diversifying different kinds of things that are running our transportation? >> so far, it is going slow. something that was deeply focused on was something note senator alexander said earlier. we need to find more and use
less. i think you're asking about the use less part. the extension of the changing fuel efficiency standards was one thing, but we believe fervently in the need to diversify away from using petroleum for transportation and given that it represents 70% of our use of petroleum to begin with. with the change in technology and the access to so much homegrown natural gas, we can use that and we can also use the development of electricity and its usability in automobiles and light trucks. >> what about the role of the government? somebody has to be making sure we are not doing dangerous things in small, enclosed places. find more coming years last, and someone has to make sure we are not doing dangerous things, as the admiral pointed out. >> i am a private sector guy,
and i believe in the application of private and free markets for the development of our country, but there are times it is clear when the government has an unfortunate role to play. in fred's introductory comments, the argument was very clear. the market for oil, on which we depend, is not a free market. the only way we can respond to that is an activist approach. that does not mean it has to be very expensive, but we need to develop a coherent policy. the fact that are recommended proposals are supported by people typically on the right side of the dial and others are typically supported by the left should suggest to you that this is not an ideological game. this is about trying to come up with a set of proposals that are good for our country overall. the lack of ideological support should be viewed as a positive.
>> i want to bring in gene sperling -- nice to see you. >> thanks. i apologize for the fact that i do not control my life for scheduled to much. >> nothing going on in your world. now that we have brought you from the edge of the fiscal cliff, let's talk about these for a moment. you have seen the headlines that say, saudi america. we have this new found richness, new technologies to find energy. i have seen some estimates up to 3 million new jobs directly related to the energy boom. is it real? how unfortunate of a driver will that be for the economy? when you're sitting down trying to figure out what growth will look like in this country, how does a factor in? >> in a few ways. number one, if there's one
thing i feel more optimistic than i did one decade ago, i had a book out around 2006 and i felt like, when you are out making the case for why there should be more location as opposed to china and india, you felt like you how the wind in your face. you have great meetings but then they pull your side and say, that's a powerful argument, but we're moving this to bangalor next week. there is much more of an economic case for people to be relocating and bring jobs back. some of that is about the way it is structured between us and china and some of it is energy. no doubt the future of natural gas is just making the price calculation more attractive to someone thinking about a new location and, in a planned of being in the united states.
energy, the lower cost a promised natural-gas is a promised economic factor in location decisions making it more competitive. that point was driven less by democrats and republicans and really the consulting community making this case to their clients and that is now getting out. i think that is one thing. secondly, as we have seen, and others would say, we are not dependent on foreign oil as much as the global oil markets. when oil markets are volatile, it brings in volatility to our economy. we felt it both in 2011 and an 2012. buchanan prevented, but to have the volatility have such an impact, we were fortunate. we put in a payroll tax cut that would cushion people's
consumer spending a bit, but when you are in a tenuous time, as we has been the, the fact that the volatility can have such an effect on consumer confidence, we all know that americans are over affected by consumer confidence factors. they are bothered by sudden spikes in gasoline prices more than economics tell you that they should be. and, obviously, jobs related to the actual increase in oil and natural gas production and have an industry is based off of alternative fuels, a think that is all very productive. one thing i want to say since we are in this time where no one seems to be getting along is that, one place where i see a real bipartisan agreement, they have an excellent bill on electric vehicles where they have an idea that maybe you have already talked about, but i believe so much in that type of thing.
to be able to show something working somewhere from the first time 60 minutes or cnn and is able to do a story where you show a community where it is easy and the incentives are there two years on alternative vehicle, i know what will happen. every mayor will see that, really the people come and say, why cannot we do this? having this deployment community proposal that senator blogged and alexander have as, i think, the type of thing you have to do to create momentum. you have to show success and usability. you look at that in the 54.5% goal by 2025 in there, and i think that creates real momentum.
all of these things are good for certainty, good for bringing jobs back, and creating economic activity as this becomes the place to not only explore and their research on but the ploy alternative vehicles and alternative vehicle technology. >> i will seize on that with the -- whiff of bipartisanship because we will not smell that in the next three weeks. let's talk about the deployment idea. >> the idea is for the government to help create models to see what works and how it can work. i think he said it very well. you have the story about how this community is responding to this infrastructure that makes it easier to have an electric car or natural gas-powered car and you see what happens.
senator brown alexander has been a real leader in this and he even has an electric car. he is going the distance here, walking the walk. that's the kind of thing government can do. government can do a lot on the regulatory side to slow things down if you forget to have effective cost-benefit analysis, but it can do a lot on the project side to really find something that works and the community becomes the laboratory for change and that others can then model. you do not have to do it everywhere and if you can show in water to a location that there really work. that is the driving force behind the idea of that lamar has been a significant spokesperson for. >> do like that car? >> i do like it. i have driven my leaf. for a lit -- for a year-and-a- half. i live in this building in a plug in the wall when i go home at night. that's all i have to do. deployment communities are a good idea. sometimes the government can
have a demonstration project that makes a difference. they did a hydraulic factory and we have had fracking are around forever. three things made a difference in it. one was a huge to demonstrate that you could do it in a big way which was helpful. the second was the laboratory inventing 3d mapping. it was the entrepreneurs and the people who was the land that made the difference. iolite the deployment communities, but i prefer research and development. i take the $14 billion and we would spend on windmills and put it on energy research. that's a mature technology, but if you want to sell a lot of those lef's the key is to get the cost from $30,000 down to $20,000 and the key would be a
500,000 mile battery. this little agency in the department of energy has a research project that they are funding which is a double the density of lithium batteries for cars. that's exactly where we ought to go. they would also have a project to turn a microbe into commercial fuel. and that would work, that's the holy grail of energy. it is also working on solar power and $1 per kilowatt installed. that's precisely what we should do and does not cost much in federal money. we spend $6 billion per year on energy research. we could double that over five
years on those kinds of projects and i think you would be the most voluble thing we could do which is perfectly consistent with many of the recommendations in this report. >> we will take some questions from the audience, but i wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to weigh in on what you think the role government should be. companies, governments, and citizens in trying to figure out a national problem. -- national energy policy. >> hello, thank you. the government needs to recognize that for us to be economically competitive, we need a reliable and economic source of energy. the four alternatives are available, which are economic and reliable, we have to make sure the resources are
economical. yes, we can increase the oil production and, but if we maintain a free market, the prices will depend on global pricing. one more point i would like to make regarding conventional energy, the history of the internal combustion engine, we are spending a 15% less and there is a huge amount of improvement that is possible. of that improvement happens, which i'm confident that it will, it will attack the problem at the root, where we're using a lot less oil and creating less carbon dioxide. the federal government recognizes that the internal combustion engine is going to power in the near future or the
medium future, the alternatives will be ready for prime time and that would be helpful economically house well. >> whenever time of transition -- whatever kind of transition we make in how we power the country or powered transportation, it's going to take a long time. there's no reason for that to be painful if we can bridge that -- but how long it will take people to replace the vehicles they have now, whether new camry for that replacement or not and what you can do, but just realistic understanding that if we knew what was going replace the internal combustion engine for transportation and, it will be decades before every family in america got there and that is probably the right way to do it. understanding that and reliable, dependable -- something you know will be there, it allows your economy to
grow in unbelievable ways. we have a potential here to really launch our economy in a way that not only helps us but helps the whole world who will anchor around a strong and growing u.s. economy and they all know it. there is no country in the world for the people in charge do not understand that they benefit from a strong, dependable, secure u.s. economy and energy is the key, i think. >> christine, can i just say something here? i think one program we have done in securing american pricing energy and is something of note that many of us have seen. futurering america's energy, the oil shock wave. i think it speaks to several key messages. just as we did in 2005, they're just as relevant today when we were importing 60% vs. 40% and continuing to go down.
they also fall along what senator blunt said house well. but you see from when we have the oil crisis, there is no such thing as energy independence. some fear we define the problem as energy independence and it is all about imported oil. but then we solve a problem. we have been saying we needed to end our dependence on foreign oil, but the truth is we have a dependence on oil and any thing that happens anywhere in the world affects us here. if we miss diagnose the problem, we come up with the wrong solution. at the time, in a lot of sense. it's catchy. the public understands, but i think we need educating continue talking about this with the american public. if you missed diagnosed the
problem, you have the wrong solution. the problem is one of energy security and resiliency. the second thing you learn in that simulation every time the cabinet runs through it is it never fails, they always turn around to me on the panel proper words and they say, i wish the hon done this 10 years ago. that is what senator blunt was saying. there are no good short-term solutions but there are really go long-term solutions but you have have the policy in place in order to have them matter. that is why when we put together the strategy, we continue to talk about producing more coming using it more efficiently so our economy is more insulated from the shock as well as finding alternatives so that we are not completely hostage to this global market and that cartel. the unique the policies in place today in order to have that in
time, is this a bipartisan consensus to have policies implemented today so that over the next five, 10, 15, 20 years we continue to use this abundance of energy and thus less of the time we have been given to put us in the right position and. >> i do not know who wants to field this, but in this white paper, you cite that hydraulic fracking 5 should be regulated at the state level. can we talk about this? environmentalists and consumer groups talk about the growth of fracking. are the state able to do this? should they do this? >> i think the answer is absolutely, yes. there are some states that have really good and tight regulations. the most important thing we have to make sure that the american public continues to support the idea because we need
this energy out of the ground. if there is a problem more some accidents and the country turns to side against it, that would be the worst outcome. we need to make sure there is a smart regulatory approach that does not withhold. we should be producing as much as we can when we can, but the roles of the road should be set. there are states that have very smart regulatory approaches and there are some just getting into this business and are starting to think through these questions. we are advocating that states understand the resources better and they have the right agencies to do this. but just make sure that the best practices are shared with others and implemented. >> as a former governor, i always bristled a bit at the suggestion that somehow i was smarter today when i got up and
flew up here just because i am in washington, d.c. i don't believe that. of course states can and should do it because some states may have a different attitude towards this in pennsylvania than texas. so you want to take into account many of these issues that are environmental issues and reassuring people locally about whether the procedures being used are safe and reliable. often local people can do a better job of explaining that or they may not want as much of it. they may want less. i thinks states have a right to be wrong in terms of competence. i just went through a hearing the other day on this meningitis outbreak that we had where people were taking these bad injections with unsterile stuff produced by a massachusetts compound and
factory and it was the tennessee department of health that found out and they saved lives. the fda was not looking too good. but yes is the answer to the question. the epa and the federal government have delegated a lot of the responsibilities for clean air and water to the states. they can have an overview for that, but i like the idea of states doing it. >> get ready for some questions. i'm going to put you on the spot, just among friends here. are we going to go over the fiscal cliff? [laughter] >> this is off the record? >> just us. >> there is no reason the country should not be able to come together and overcome the dysfunction to have a broad, fair agreement revenues from those who can afford it most and the type of entitlement reform that we need to gather to be part of a balanced deficit
reduction package. everyone has to realize compromise is not a dirty word. there's just no reason. they're the reason it should come to that. i will connect a slightly to our discussion here in two points. one reason you want to have an agreement that does include the type of significant revenues and mandatory savings is that because we cannot come to an agreement on that, we continue to cut too deeply into some of the domestic discretionary where a lot of our investment in the future comes from. i agree completely with what senator alexander said about
the and portents -- about the importance of our andy in breakthrough technologies -- of research and development that would not get funded simply because no individual actor can capture the benefits of the research enough to justify meaning that we, as a country, are under investing and that is really important in our country. because we cannot come up with a big agreement and we keep cutting deeper and deeper into domestic discretionary spending, it just means not only in this area, and i age from other areas, but our ability to invest in research and the future is lessened and we are all poorer for it.
>> i will make dinner reservations for new year's eve. you're telling me i will not be working. there is a hope we're going to avert this thing? where are the microphones? there's one right over there. >> i'm wondering the phrase "smart grid" does not appear in the report today. how is it possible? that is the first question very -- first question. how does this fit into the council's thinking? >> safe and the energy security leadership council has a long history of many policies. just because we do not mention it in this policy does not mean we have not said it before and that we continue to support it. what i say about these margaret, and i will tie this to the electric vehicle, for a
long time, we believe the electrification of transportation is probably the best way to drive the smart grid. politically because it deals with the question of oil so acutely. republicans and democrats can get together. when people put an electric car in their rush hours. suddenly their relationship to electricity prices means so much to them. during your dishes at 7:00 at night vs 10:30 at night and saving a few pennies will probably know not drive the american consumer to embrace and understand electricity in ways that have never done before, but putting a car in their garage, the idea is to spend a little bit capital upfront but you have a lower operating costs because electricity is so cheap. you put these in these deployments communities, and we believe that would be research and development, the petrie
dishes of learning about consumers. as you put them in those garages, those are the communities that will be the fastest to upgrade the grids and make sure these margaret is a robust capability in their community. >> over your arm the left. >> i want to congratulate you all. i am with the naval postgraduate school, but i ended up creating something we call the energy consensus for one- year to ask people to talk about energy when it was a forbidden topic in the defense department. this was through 2004. i got funding from the department of defense and it created the energy conversation. i want to get to a point that was brought up in number of times, having the american
public understand this unbelievably complex story. i recommend you all watch alan alda's vido, "the flame." when he was 11 years old -- he asked what a lfmae was and could not get a good answer. university and they put on a worldwide contest to explain what a flame is to 11 year-old. they had 600 submissions and 6011 year old evaluated this. keep in mind how complex that is. i bought a book two weeks ago called "black gold" for my granddaughter by albert marin. i recommend of the academics in this room or anywhere. not many people are going to read or understand your report.
a lot of what needs doing telling this story as that it has to be visual because it is so unbelievably complicated, interdependence, integrated, and for most of us, it just looks like chaos. i'm going to suggest that you do things like kids were studying english working with those studying energy and that their work as a collaborative effort to write understandable stories on these various elements of energy. the other thing i would suggest is that if the federal government, whenever they do any contract and, i had already asked belair to do this, but any contract not classified has to have a one-page list of
bullets that are what i call new learnings. i'm sorry i went on for so long, but i have worked on this for so long. >> thank you. >> i do like the idea of those bullet points. they're doing that for mortgages now. trying to clear up some of the financial literacy. back here. >> . arm from national defense university. i agree with your conclusions that the energy outlook is much more positive than two years ago, but, if i may, i want to question two functions, one of them, the difference between boulder ability and [inaudible]
-- vulnerability and dependency. the global oil market is very well integrated -- what happens in china and india will affect the united states. we will never be independent in a global market. many of you talked about countries that do not wish us well. basically, opec countries. these countries, in my opinion, have been very cooperative. libya, kuwait, uae. they have all helped us contained iran. they have some connection with an 9/11. -- it is true they have some connection with 9/11, but over all our relationship with these countries have been very good.
>> i think it has been said what you said in your first point. the fact that we may reduce the amount of oil we import, it does not decouple was from the world oil market. canada and norway are both exporters, but their citizens pay of the market price for a gallon of gasoline. we said exactly what you said on your first point. on your second point, the opec nations in being friends of the united states, i think the answer to that is that both sides have had a relationship that has been economically necessary, but i do not think the opec cartel conducts its affairs in a way to benefit the
united states of america. they conduct their affairs so that they do not kill the goose that laid the golden egg. if you turn into the record on pages 8 and 9, you're asking for some visual clues as to what's going on here. if you look on page 8 coming will see the united states is paying about $20 million per month to import petroleum. you see the sharp rise in the line just before 2008 and then it sort of flat lines from 2008 going through the significant dip that was represented by the subprime mortgage meltdown. what's interesting about it is from that point forward it has
remained about 50% of the balance of payments and deficits. that is because the oil cartel prices the marginal barrel of oil as what it costs to get it out of the ground and what the maximum is that they cannot pay without tipping the consumers -- maximum they can pay without tipping the consumers over into a recession. the chart on the next page to the right of that shows it even more clearly. as you can see, the blue lines there, right before 2008, the meltdown, we went up to $147 per barrel for oil. that was the match that let off the subprimal down because the -- subprime meltdown because the subprime borrowers, who probably should not have bought that house to begin with and maybe you were taken advantage of were literally reduced to making the decision not between buying gasoline to go to work for
defaulting on the mortgage. you see a precipitous drop in the dark blue and here it goes back up. we are now at over 6% of our gdp spend of petroleum. as mr. sperling said, they reduce to the payroll tax last year, in 2011, amounting to $108 billion. it's not by accident of the price of fuel went up and consumed our disposable income in this country. -- about $100 billion of our disposable income. as you can see, the light blue bar, the only way to solve this problem is not to get divorced from the global economy, as canada and norway has showed some it would not make a difference anyway. we need to diversify transportation so that it is not as dependent upon petroleum as is currently the case and this redline on page 9, probably the most important of all, the amount of oil that we can assume per $1,000 of g.d.p.
if we can diversify into compressed natural gas and come up with a viable electrification and of trucks and vehicles, those are profound developments which were not possible until very recently. the report that we have here house all three of those things, the maximization of oil. it into saudi arabia levels mean we produce 11 million barrels. not 18.7 million barrels. which is what we are currently consuming. at the same time, driving down consumption and, fuel efficiency standards, electrification, natural gas, and continuing research and development that sutterville is and was talking -- that senator alexander was talking about in
the hopes we could take a biofuels to fly in airplanes and drive trucks to get them into scaled production that would be cost-effective. if we do all three of those things, we have a real opportunity to change the economic dependency of this country and certainly the national security risks that we continue to have with a black swan events like saudi arabia becoming a state that is controlled like a theocracy like iran or something. >> let's get one more here. >> i'm curious what mr. smith thinks about the conversation between senator alexander and gene sperling about research and development. i think i read that the price of plasma televisions fell 20 full and it really was -- 20-fold in a period of six to eight years,
not a matter of research and development does it was staley on deployment. how much do we have to focus on new technology, getting into scale land to a point where they are produced in volumes such as prices can decline and be accessible to more consumers and create a virtuous cycle but -- relative to do technology enhancements, which are certainly to be promoted but there has to be a balance and a curious where you come down on that. >> we live normal fruits of -- on the fruits of the r&d has been conducted in years past, some by the government, in terms of their plans come a jet engines, the internet, so forth some of it was done in private research and development laboratories, like bell labs. which had profound effects. the japanese industry and the japanese government has been
very active in this area. i would say to you the global revolution creating the -- mobile telephony revolution creating the improvements in lithium ion batteries which was helped at mit so this is just one big world of intellectual property and that has led nissan leafs to be built in tennessee. the electrical power grid that was mentioned would provide the power. let me give you a "gee whiz" statistic. that were really put it into perspective. there are too ordered 50 million -- 250 million light duty cars and trucks in the united states and we have enough power-generating capability that if you could wave a magic and
have a smart grid and all those vehicles were converted to electric power, which converts into energy at a rate of over 85% vs. less than 20% for an internal combustion engine and, you would not have to build another power plants in the united states of america. with the natural gas revolution that is under way, we have a plentiful supply for electricity to move a significant amount of the 10 million barrels of oil per day we consume in light duty trucks and vehicles and to hybrid or hybrid-electric power and reduce our consumption overall by millions of barrels of oil per day thereby reducing the amount that the economy expounds on petroleum per unit of gdp. that's the goal here. >> you have to have a cheaper
battery. don't you agree? we're not going to sell a lot as long as the batteries are so expensive. >> i think the research and development, senator, is absolutely essential on batteries and biofuel-scale production. those two areas are the most important, but i have to tell you krupa an incredible piece of machinery is the chevy volt. it will produce 35 miles of transportation on electric power and then you have a range of 350 miles an days sell about 3000 of them per day -- excuse me, per month. i know my friend would like to be selling 3000 per day. [laughter] i think improved battery technology is on the trajectory and that is the holy grail, pier electric.
-- pure electric. i think a lot of progress is being made here, but the recommendations we have here have the best chance of achieving a kind of breakthrough. >> it's a great point that there are a lot of different types of fuel. ireland ceo of a garbage company -- i am ceo of a garbage company, and we take the waste to produce every day and one company produces eight times the amount of power from waste than the entire solar industry. in the united states. there's no company investing -- and we get about 50-60 of the btu content. all of the waste. there's no company introducing more on how to get 100% than ours. the problem is, you have a lot of technologies that absolutely working on that you have to build these plans to scale. who will take that kind of risk? it's a great point that if we're going to help in new technologies, it is not just
about research, development. we have plenty, but now we have to risk $100 million to see if it works to scale. and i guess the second part is, no matter which way you go, we happen to be going compressed natural gas, but where do you fuel these trucks? building that infrastructure this year, we will spend about $50 million on building our own cng plants. most of those we will make available to the public so taxicabs and buses can fuel there, but that is another place we could use help. how do we build the data structure when we move to these -- how do we build the infrastructure is so when we move to these fleets that we can have an infrastructure to support those leads? we happen to be doing it on our own. it does not make a lot of economic sense in a lot of areas, but where we can get our own feeling station, that's an -- if we can get mass, we can put our own fueling stations in,
area where we could use help building an infrastructure to make it more economic. i think your point is absolutely well taken. there's plenty of technologies out there, and we do not know if they will scale. that is where we could use help, defraying the initial build out risk. >> i did the very important to understand, and the heavy- vehicle side, a mention 10 million barrels per day consumed by light-duty vehicles and 300 million are consumed by the over the road trucks, buses, garbage vehicles. the over the road sector today is paying close to $4 per gallon for diesel fuel. the natural gas equivalents is under $2 per gallon, so there is a huge economic incentive. until recently, there were not engines that could efficiently use lng, cummins and others. infrastructure is being put in by shell and ta, the second- largest truck stop system, and
by clean energy, mr. pickens company and pilot and flying j. there are a lot of things in this area that are moving in terms of heavy-duty vehicles in terms of natural gas and light duty vehicles are moving towards electrification and hybrids. >> our biggest problem with the natural gas in the structured -- infrastructure are people with a gasoline-powered engines to ask if they can buy our gas for $1.99 and we have to tell them that it's a different kind of gas. >> on that note, i think we will leave it there. thank you, everyone. a big round of applause for everyone on the panel. thank you so much for spending time with us this morning. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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